On Monday, former N.C. Senator, attorney, and Army veteran, Cal Cunningham, announced he is a Democratic candidate for State Senate, to replace incumbent Republican Senator Thom Tillis.
In a statement released by his campaign on Monday, Cunningham said, in part, “In this race for Senate, it’s time for somebody who will stand up and fight to build an economy that works for everybody, for the health care that each family deserves, and to reform the corrupt political system in Washington. North Carolinians are hardworking, commonsense, decent, and stubbornly independent people, and you deserve to be represented by somebody who gets it.”
Cunningham, a Lexington, N.C. native, earned undergraduate and law degrees at UNC Chapel Hill, then returned to Lexington with his wife Elizabeth to raise a family.
At age 27, he was elected as a State Senator for Davidson, Rowan, and Iredell Counties. During his term in the legislature, Cunningham supported bills for smaller class sizes, higher teacher pay, and larger investments in early childhood education and public colleges. He also helped pass laws to reform environmental, preservation and campaign finance regulations.
Cunningham was inspired by the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to join the U.S. Army Reserve, where he served three active duty tours in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cunningham was awarded the Bronze Star and the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award, for his role in prosecuting contractors for criminal misconduct.
Currently, Cunningham trains Special Operations Forces at Fort Bragg, N.C., and runs an environmental services and waste reduction company based in Raleigh.
Cunningham and Elizabeth now live in Raleigh with their two high school-aged kids, Caroline and Will.